The Push/Pull Advantage

push-pull-legs

Push/pull workouts prevent an overlap in muscles worked making it possible to train more frequently. If you are a natty like me you will have learned that in order to make improvements you need to train very frequently and time off equals strength loss.

Programs that require training each muscle group once a week produce limited results for natty bodybuilders. With this type of training the muscles end up being really sore the follow few days and you believe you actually trained your muscles hard. This is not accurate.

The reason your muscles get sore afterwards is because you are out of shape. It is also impossible to train the muscles enough hard they need a full week to recover. You are undertraining and every workout you experience the pain of muscle soreness beginners do over and over again.

Just like the movie Groundhog Day except each time you wake up you can barely move because your muscles hurt so bad and you spend eternity wishing you had trained more frequently.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a natty works each muscle twice a week they get better results and less muscle soreness. And if a natty trains three times a week there results improve even great and they reach a point were muscle soreness doesn’t occur unless your program changes such as the order of exercises, volume, rep range, and etc.

The first reason is that without performance enhancing drugs overtraining isn’t possible even if you are an ancient gladiator forced to train all day and starved until you get results.

Secondly, muscles only require 24 to 48 hours of rest to fully recover and you don’t necessarily have to let muscles fully recover before training them again. So if there is no overlap in your training you can literally workout each muscle groups every second day.

With a push/pull program you have two options that align with your body’s natural ability to recover. This can be accomplished one of two ways: push/pull or push/pull/legs.

The first is a two day split where muscle groups are divided into two categories; push/pull. Pushing involves exercises that use the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, and calves. Pulling involves exercises that use the back, lats, traps, biceps, and hamstrings.

The push/pull/legs divide the upper and lower body and then further split the upper body into a push/pull split. The workouts essentially remain the same expect all exercises for the legs are isolated to a specific day.

This does generate some overlap in the muscles involved; however, even with no days off each muscle group has well over 48 hours of recovery. As a result, a 3 day push/pull/legs split requires higher training intensity and is often used following a prolonged two day split system to allow recovery.

Whether a two or three day split is used a natty can greatly benefit by using a push/push training split in order to avoid muscle overlap allowing more frequent training.

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